There is nothing in possessions, in material goods or in money! There is nothing in us that can enable us to keep enjoying the things we do! But it is possible to have enjoyment all your life if you take it from the hand of God. It is given to those who please God. The person who pleases God is given the gift of joy.
Galatians 5:22-23 & 25-26 (KJV) “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, (23) Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (25) If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. (26) Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.”
The passage above isn’t one we typically hear during the season of Advent, but if you read it you will notice that the fruits of the Spirit talked about in Galatians are closely related to the gifts of Advent. In fact, peace, joy, and love (three gifts of Advent) all show up on the list of fruits of the Spirit.
This week’s Advent focus is joy. But really, joy isn’t possible without the other things on the list above. Look back at that list with this thought in mind.
Does joy come in places of love or places of fear and hate?
Does joy come when we are patient or when we are hurried or frantic?
Does joy come in the midst of kindness or when we disregard others?
Does joy come when we are generous or when we are selfish?
How do you please God? In many places in Scripture we are told that without faith it is impossible to please God. It is faith that pleases Him, belief that He is there and that everything in life comes from His hand. Underscore in your minds the word all. Pain, sorrow, bereavement, disappointment, as well as gladness, happiness, and joy—all these things are gifts of God. When we see life in those terms, any and every element of life can have its measure of joy—even sorrow, pain, and grief. These things were given to us to enjoy.